Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 1307–1310 | Cite as

Prevalence of Sexual Violence and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in an Urban African-American Population

  • Kate WalshEmail author
  • Karestan C. Koenen
  • Allison E. Aiello
  • Monica Uddin
  • Sandro Galea
Brief Communication


Sexual violence is prevalent nationally and contributes to psychopathology in the general population. Despite elevated traumatic event exposure among economically disadvantaged urban-dwelling African-Americans, there is insufficient information on lifetime sexual violence exposure and associated psychopathology in this population. In 2008–2009, 1,306 African-Americans from a Detroit household probability sample reported on lifetime rape and sexual assault and past-month and lifetime posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Lifetime sexual violence prevalence was 26.3 % for women and 5.1 % for men. Relative to non-victims, sexual violence victims: reported more other traumatic events; had 4 times greater unadjusted odds of past-month and lifetime PTSD; had 1.6 times greater adjusted odds of lifetime PTSD only after controlling for other traumatic events. Sexual violence was associated with increased risk for lifetime PTSD and exposure to other traumas. Findings highlight a need to screen for sexual violence and PTSD among urban African-Americans.


African-Americans  Rape  Stress disorders  Posttraumatic 



This work was supported by the first author’s NIDA training fellowship T32DA031099 (PI: Hasin), Grant MH093612 awarded to Dr. Koenen, Grant DA022720-05S1 (PhenX supplement) awarded to Dr. Aiello, and Grants MH088283, DA022720, DA022720-S2 awarded to Dr. Galea.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kate Walsh
    • 1
    Email author
  • Karestan C. Koenen
    • 1
  • Allison E. Aiello
    • 2
  • Monica Uddin
    • 3
  • Sandro Galea
    • 1
  1. 1.Columbia University Mailman School of Public HealthNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.University of Michigan School of Public HealthAnn ArborUSA
  3. 3.Wayne State University School of MedicineDetroitUSA

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